on schedule for August event
more cooking contestants this year
MADISON, Ind. (July 2003) With only a month remaining
before the second annual Madison Ribberfest, committee members say they
are on schedule for staging an even larger event this year, which features
barbecue, blues and balloons.
The two-day event is scheduled for Aug. 15-16 on the Madison riverfront,
with little change to the lineup from last year, except that organizers
expect to double the number of judges and cooking competitors in both
amateur and pro divisions. A judging school was held in Madison last
September to certify more local judges.
The pro cooking event, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society
and with a $10,000 purse, serves as the Indiana State Championship,
since it is the only such event in the state. As such, the winner automatically
advances to the KCBS national championship.
decorated for Madison Ribberfest
Last years winning team, Smokin in the
Dark of Springfield, Mo., edged out second place Lee and Bobbie
McWright of Music City Pig Pals, based in Nashville, Tenn. The McWrights
were named Reserve Champion. Smokin in the Dark, comprised of
duo Larry Randolph and Brad Rapp, went on to win the national competition
in Kansas City last year.
As of late June, only eight pro teams had paid, but it is customary
for many teams to arrive and pay at the last minute, said cooking event
chairman Shawn Auxier. Id love to be at 50 teams, but I
dont expect well get that high. I expect to be in the high
30s or low 40s.
Last year, 19 teams competed in the pro division, entering seven cooking
categories. The judging took place inside the Brown Gym.
The festival also features an amateur division on Friday night and a
long lineup of blues bands playing Friday night and all day Saturday.
There is also a beer tent, operated by the Madison Jaycees, a midway
of vendors selling food and souvenirs, and a kids activity area.
A concrete pig decorating contest among local businesses is again under
way in the weeks leading up to and during the event to fund a scholarship
fund. So far 18 of 20 new pigs have been adopted by local
businesses, with 10 pigs returning from last year. Money is generated
through voting for the best pig. The pigs will be on display along Vaughn
Drive during the festival.
by Don Ward
Jones displays a sample
at the 2002 Judging School.
This years bands include Jimmy D., Lee McBee Band
and Debbie Davies Band on Friday; and the Doctors Band, Blues
Devils, Johnny Reed and the House Rockers, Mike Morgan, Rod Piazza and
the Mighty Flyers, and Duke Tumatoe on Saturday.
The committee this year also is raffling a Southern Yankee cooker, valued
at $3,000. Tickets are $1 each. And 200 numbered posters will be sold
for $15 each, along with T-shirts at $15 each. Business banner spaces
are available along the fence for $100.
Last years balloon races failed to get off the ground because
of windy conditions, but Friday nights balloon glow in Milton,
Ky., was successful and visible from the Madison side of the Ohio River.
Another race attempt will be made this year. Balloon rides are selling
for $125 per person this year.
Last years event reported a net profit of $3,829, according to
chairman Jeff Garrett. With more sponsors and a year under their belts,
committee members are optimistic the event will continue to grow.
Garrett had to step aside as chairman this year because of health reasons,
but he is still involved in planning the event with new chairperson
Advance wristband sales have begun and are $15 for both days
prior to Aug. 1 and include $10 in food coupons. After Aug.1, the price
is the same but without food coupons. Tickets at the gate will be $10
per day. To purchase tickets or balloon rides, call the tourism office
at 1-800-559-2956 or (812) 265-2956. Wristbands may also be purchased
at the tourism office at 601 W. First St. and at various locations throughout
Madison. Or visit the website: www.madisonribberfest.com.
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